The Increasing Standards of Geriatric Care and Deducting the Cost of a Caregiver

Today’s facility needs to provide increased levels of both comfort and care. Here are six key criteria geriatric patients are using to measure hospitals and long term care residence.

  1. Quality of Care – This will Never change. Geriatric patients demand and expect top-notch care when they are in the hospital, rehap or Senior Living community. The Baby Boomers are demanding better care and doing their research on their condition and will ask questions to ensure they are receiving the best care from highly qualified personnel.
  2. “Privacy” – I Want A Door. HIPPA laws have led to a construction boom as hospital administrators strive to make Waiting Rooms, Treatment Bays, Exam Rooms and other areas of hospitals HIPPA compliant. They do not want to Share a Room!
  3. Room Comfort – Some hospitals are acting like hotels. More space for family to visit their loved one – some are like suites and provide additional luxuries. Requesting Unrestricted visiting hours, and on-site facilities for eating.
  4. Food Quality – Healthy and Tasty Diet. Emotional health is connected to physical health and physical health connected to a healthy diet. Providing healthier foods and diet will make the patient happier and healthier – improve & go home faster.
  5. Personnel with Professional and Caring Personalities. Patients rely heavily on facilities employees. When patients are ill or frightened, they need to feel confident they can depend upon staff to treat them correctly and with respect. Patients demand knowledgeable, efficient, comforting and – above all – pleasant staff.
  6. A Calm and Clean Environment. Every administrator knows that the better a patient feels emotionally, the faster they will heal physically. The atmosphere of the facility is one of the “key” things patients look for when deciding on a healthcare facility. Geriatric patients want tranquil environments that are tastefully decorated, cheerful and clean.

While these are not the only standards used to select healthcare facilities they are some of the Most important considerations. Facilities need to provide their patients in innovative ways, beyond their clinical needs, never forgetting that the quality of care and medical service is the Primary concern.

Can Someone Deduct the Cost of a Caregiver? With tax time upon us this is asked frequently. Our parent has a personal caregiver who works for them full time in their home. The parent(s) pay the cost of approx $4,000 per month out of their own income. Can they deduct the cost as a medical expense on their income tax?

Answer: YES, assuming they are “qualified long term care services.” To satisfy the IRS, one must have to verify primarily by a carefully written letter from her/his personal physician that: (a) she/he is chronically ill (b) the services are provided in accordance with the physician’s plan of care, and © she/he are required care and supervision to protect them from threats to health and safety due, for example: to her/his diminished capacity. A CPA will rely on Section 213 of the IRS Code in determining whether or not their care qualifies.

Note: Physicians do not think about tax deductions when they care for their patients. Its OK to tell them about this opportunity and about the need for an appropriate letter or written plan. Also, these expenses can only be itemized deductions if they exceed 7.5% of the patient(s) adjusted gross income. *Remember to issue 1099s for each of the Caregivers and submit to the IRS at year end. Check with your CPA…..

Brenda Dever-Armstrong, CEO/Owner/CSA/Geriatric Advisor/Lifetime Advocate
The Next Horizon Senior & Military (Veterans/Spouses) Services/Resources/Locator



Since 1868, Americans have set aside one day a year to honor the over 1.1 million men & women who gave their lives while serving their country. While Memorial Day comes just once a year, VA and its employees uphold the meaning behind it each and every day by providing the best care possible to our Veterans.

Initially called Decoration Day because families & friends would spend the day decorating the graves of their fallen loved one; the day was renamed Memorial Day during WWII and became a federal holiday in 1971. It serves to honor the men & women whose lives & actions in battle helped to shape not just our Nation, but the World! Whether they were present when the first shot was fired at Lexington & Concord or they’ve walked the streets of Baghdad, they’ve had a direct impact on history.

A simple way to both show your respect & support living Veterans & their families is through the purchase of a RED POPPY, known as the “flower of remembrance,” the poppy gained popularity after Canadian surgeon, Lt Colonel John McGrae, penned the poem “In Flanders’Field” during WWI. He describes the crimson flowers growing between the crosses marking the graves of those who fell during that pivotal battle. It was proclaimed the official memorial flower of the VFW in 1922. Now, artificial poppies are manufactured by patients & residents in VA hospitals and homes, with proceeds going to support Veterans, widows and orphans affected by war. By purchasing and wearing a red poppy, you can honor Memorial Day while making a difference in a living Veteran’s life.

Fly your American flag at half-staff. Guidelines: when putting the flag at half-staff, raise it quickly to the top of the staff, then slowly lower it halfway down. The flag should only be flown at half-staff from dawn until noon before being raised to full-staff until sunset.

Take time on Memorial Day to pause for the National Moment of remembrance. At 3 pm local time, take one minute to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by those who have lost their lives fighting for the United States! If you are driving, turn your headlights on to show your participation. SPREAD THE TRUE MEANING BEHIND MEMORIAL DAY…..

Each and every day beyond Memorial Day, over 365,000 VA employees dedicate their lives to serve those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Brenda Dever-Armstrong, CEO/Owner/CSA/Geriatric Advisor
The Next Horizon Seniors & Military (Veterans/Spouses) Advocate/Resources/Services/Locator (Military Spouse of 40 years)

SENIORS ARTICLE: Register to Vote in Texas – 2024

ARE YOU ALREADY REGISTERED: To confirm your voter registration status, visit Am I Registered application. If you moved from one place to another in the same county, you can change your information online at the Secretary of State’s Voter Registration Name/Address Change website.

WAYS TO REGISTER: To register to vote in Texas, simply complete a voter registration application and return it to your county election office at least 30 days before the upcoming election date. To complete an application, you may: (1) Complete an application using the SOS ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION APPLICATION. Simply fill in the required information, print, sign and mail directly to your county election office. (2) Request a PRINTED APPLICATION. The office will mail a voter registration application to the address provided. (3) Contact or visit your local VOTER REGISTRAR to complete registration process.

YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER TO VOTE IF: (1) You are a United States citizen (2) You are a resident of the county where you submit the application (3) You are at least 17 years and 10 months old and you are 18 years of age on Election Day! (4) You are not a convicted felon (you may be eligible to vote if you have completed your sentence, probation and parole); and (5) You have not been declared by a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.

SHOW OF (7) ACCEPTABLE FORMS OF PHOTO ID: (1) Texas Driver License; (2) Show Texas Handgun License; (3) Texas Personal ID Card; (4) US Citizenship Certificate with Photo; (5) Texas Election ID Certificate; (6) US Military ID card with Photo; (7) US Passport – Card or Book

MILITARY & OVERSEAS VOTERS: “Overseas” is defined as anywhere outside the U.S. (Includes Mexico/Canada). You can use the regular registration and early voting by mail process (known as “absentee” voting)

VOTERS WITH DISABILITIES: (1) Citizen of US (2) 17 years & 10 months time of registration BUT to vote must be 128 years by Election Day (3) Have not been convicted or a felony or if they have been convicted, have completed all of their punishment, parole, supervision, probation or have received a pardon (4) Have not been determined by a final judgment of a court to be totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote (5) Individuals who have legal guardians may be eligible to register, depending on whether the court took away their right to vote. All guardianship orders issued after 1 September 2007 must state whether the individual can vote (6) People with disabilities can receive assistance registering to vote from any state agency that provides services to persons with disabilities or from any person they choose (7) On 1 September 1999, Texas became the first state to require all new voting systems be accessible to voters with disabilities and provide a practical and effective means for voters with disabilities to vast a secret ballot. ALL POLLING PLACES IN TEXAS MUST BE ACCESSIBLE!

VOTERS MAY VOTE EARLY, EITHER IN PERSON OR BY MAIL: Voters who vote during Early Voting Period may vote at any early voting site in the political subdivision that is holding the election. If a voter will be 65 years of age or older on Election Day, has a disability or will be outside the county during early voting hours and on Election Day, the voter can apply to vote by mail. Submit a completed and signed Application for a Ballot by Mail any time from the 60th to the 11th day before Election Day to the proper county early voting clerk. For more information read “Early Voting In Texas”

Secretary of State – Elections Division, PO Box 12060 Austin, TX 78711-2060

*Information provided by:
Brenda Dever-Armstrong, CEO/Owner/CSA Senior Advisor
The Next Horizon Seniors/Military Advocate/Resources/Services/Locator